Campervan restrictions

Your front page item about proposed campervan parking restrictions in Whitby reminds me of many, many such controversies in seaside towns all around the UK.

I’ve seen all kinds of arguments presented in the motorcaravanning press, but maybe the decision-makers at the council are unfamiliar with many such reasons why they SHOULD provide proper motorcaravan parking in town.

It’s true that campervans lined up on West Cliff could annoy residents, especially if people sleep overnight there.

It’s also true that there are several caravan sites around Whitby, but not necessarily within easy walking access of town, and of course costing in excess of £20 per night - quite a lot if you just need to park, rather than stay overnight.

By creating parking restrictions for campervans in town, the council will effectively be driving these vans away to towns where parking is easier to find.

Many campervan and motorhome owners are well-off people who contribute greatly to the tourist trade here - is the council sure it wants to alienate these people?

Many campervanners do indeed want to overnight in their vans in town, and as this is a fact, it may be better for the council to consider accommodating them legally, safely, and in one place.

In many European countries, especially France, towns welcome motorcaravanners with open arms by providing parking places, some with basic sanitary facilities (for a charge).

Those European councillors can only scratch their heads in bewilderment when they read that UK seaside towns are doing all they can to drive these well-heeled visitors away!

Honfleur in Normandy is a town with lots in common with Whitby, a picturesque harbour town and tourist honeypot.

They have set aside a dockside area in the less picturesque part of town for campervan parking, for which the campervanners are extremely grateful, as are the restaurateurs and shopkeepers of the town who cater for them.

As there is apparently just such an area near the Co-op car park in Whitby, I urge councillors to consider this.

If there is a council regulation preventing this, well, they should consider rescinding the regulation, rather than just hiding behind it!

Not only are campervans here to stay, but they are a desirable part of the tourist trade.

I also urge business owners reading this to put pressure on the council to make adequate provision rather than drive enthusiastic spenders away!

Alistair Russell, Sunnybank Avenue, Mirfield, West Yorkshire by email